Journal of Psycholinguistic Research

, Volume 48, Issue 5, pp 961–985 | Cite as

How Do Different Types of Alignment Affect Perceived Entity Status?

  • Tailer G. RansomEmail author
  • Rick Dale
  • Roger J. Kreuz
  • Deborah Tollefsen


Perceptions of entitativity are thought to be influenced by salient features such as the physical proximity and physical similarity of group members (Campbell in Behav Sci 3:14–25, 1958). But social interactions among group members involve a number of low-level alignment (Pickering and Garrod in Behav Brain Sci 27:212–225, 2004) and synchronization (Marsh et al. in Top Cogn Sci 1:320–339, 2009) processes. Conversational partners, for instance, become aligned in syntax, semantics, emotion, and bodily posture. In this paper, we explore whether alignment correlates with observers’ judgments of entitativity, and, moreover, which specific forms of alignment have the strongest effects on these judgments. Results revealed that only emotional alignment had on effect on judgments of entitativity. We discuss how future work may further assess the role of various dimensions in shaping the perception of group status in linguistic interaction.


Entitativity Alignment Interaction Affect Social cognition 



Parts of this Project emerged as a consequence of funding from a Human Social Dynamics award funded by NSF BCS-0826825 to the co-authors. This Project was also funded, in part, by a Grant from the Institute of Intelligent Systems at the University of Memphis.


  1. Barr, D. J., Levy, R., Scheepers, C., & Tily, H. J. (2013). Random effect structure for confirmatory hypothesis testing: Keep it maximal. Journal of Memory and Language, 68(3), 255–278.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Bernieri, F. J. (1988). Coordinated movement and rapport in teacher–student interactions. Journal of Nonverbal Behavior, 12, 120–138.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Bernieri, F. J., Gillis, J. S., Davis, J. M., & Grahe, J. E. (1996). Dyad rapport and the accuracy of its judgment across situations: A lens model analysis. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 71, 110–129.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Bock, J. K. (1986). Syntactic persistence in language production. Cognitive Psychology, 18(3), 355–387.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Branigan, H. P. (2007). Syntactic priming. Language and Linguistics Compass, 1(1–2), 1–16.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Branigan, H. P., Pickering, M. J., & Cleland, A. A. (2000). Syntactic co-ordination in dialogue. Cognition, 75, B13–B25.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Brennan, S. E. (1991). Conversation with and through computers. User Modeling and User-Adopted Interaction, 1, 67–86.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Brennan, S. E., & Clark, H. H. (1996). Conceptual pacts and lexical choice in conversation. Journal of Experimental Psychology. Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 22, 1482–1493.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Brewer, M. B., Weber, J. G., & Carini, B. (1995). Person memory in intergroup contexts: Categorization versus individuation. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 69, 29–40.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Butler, E. A. (2015). Interpersonal affect dynamics: It takes two (and time) to tango. Emotion Review, 7, 336–341.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Campbell, D. T. (1958). Common fate, similarity, and other indices of the status of aggregate persons as social entities. Behavioral Science, 3, 14–25.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Clark, H. H. (1996). Using language. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Crump, S. A., Hamilton, D. L., Sherman, S. J., Lickel, B., & Thakkar, V. (2010). Group entitativity and similarity: Their differing patterns in perceptions of groups. European Journal of Social Psychology, 40(7), 1212–1230.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Danescu-Niculescu-Mizil, C., & Lee, L. (2011). Chameleons in imagined conversations: A new approach to understanding coordination of linguistic style in dialogs. In Proceedings of the 2nd workshop on cognitive modeling and computational linguistics (pp. 76–87). New York: Association for Computational Linguistics.Google Scholar
  15. Dasgupta, N., Banaji, M. R., & Abelson, R. P. (1999). Group entitativity and group perception: Associations between physical features and psychological judgment. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 77(5), 991.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Delaherche, E., Chetouani, M., Mahdhaoui, A., Saint-Georges, C., Viaux, S., & Cohen, D. (2012). Interpersonal synchrony: A survey of evaluation methods across disciplines. Affective Computing, IEEE Transactions on, 3, 349–365.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Fusaroli, R., Konvalinka, I., & Wallot, S. (2014). Analyzing social interactions: The promises and challenges of using cross recurrence quantification analysis. In N. Marwan, et al. (Eds.), Translational recurrences (pp. 137–155). Cham: Springer.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Gallagher, S., & Meltzoff, A. N. (1996). The earliest sense of self and others: Merleau-Ponty and recent development studies. Philosophical Psychology, 9, 211–233.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Garrod, S., & Pickering, M. J. (2004). Why is conversation so easy. Trends in Cognitive Science, 8, 8–11.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Goodwin, C., & LeBaron, C. (2011). Embodied interaction: Language and body in the material world (Vol. 8). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  21. Henderson, M. D. (2009). Psychological distance and group judgments: The effect of physical distance on beliefs about common goals. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 35(10), 1330–1341.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Hove, M. J., & Risen, J. L. (2009). It’s all in the timing: Interpersonal synchrony increases affiliation. Social Cognition, 27(6), 949.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Hughes, R., & Huby, M. (2004). The construction and interpretation of vignettes in social research. Social Work and Social Sciences Review, 11(1), 36–51.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Jacobson, N. S., Gottman, J. M., Waltz, J., Rushe, R., Babcock, J., & Holtzworth Munroe, A. (1994). Affect, verbal content, and psychophysiology in the arguments of couples with a violent husband. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 62, 982–988.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Jaeger, T. F., & Snider, N. E. (2013). Alignment as a consequence of expectation adaptation: Syntactic priming is affected by the prime’s prediction error given both prior and recent experience. Cognition, 127(1), 57–83.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Kaschak, M. P., Kutta, T. J., & Jones, J. L. (2011). Structural priming as implicit learning: Cumulative priming effects and individual differences. Psychonomic Bulletin and Review, 18, 1133. Scholar
  27. Koudenburg, N., Postmes, T., & Gordijn, E. H. (2014). Conversational flow and entitativity: The role of status. British Journal of Social Psychology, 53(2), 350–366.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Lakens, D. (2010). Movement synchrony and perceived entitativity. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 46(5), 701–708.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Lickel, B., Hamilton, D. L., & Sherman, S. J. (2001). Elements of a lay theory of groups: Types of groups, relational styles, and the perception of group entitativity. Personality and Social Psychology Review, 5, 129–140.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Lickel, B., Hamilton, D. L., Wieczorkowska, G., Lewis, A., Sherman, S. J., & Uhles, A. N. (2000). Varieties of groups and the perception of group entitativity. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 78, 223–246.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Louwerse, M. M., Dale, R., Bard, E. G., & Jeuniaux, P. (2012). Behavior matching in multimodal communication is synchronized. Cognitive Science, 36, 1404–1426.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Main, A., Paxton, A., & Dale, R. (2016). An exploratory analysis of emotion dynamics between mothers and adolescents during conflict discussions. Emotion, 16, 913–928.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Marsh, K. L., Richardson, M. J., & Schmidt, R. C. (2009). Social connection through joint action and interpersonal coordination. Topics in Cognitive Science, 1(320), 339.Google Scholar
  34. Oostenbroek, J., Suddendorf, T., Nielsen, M., Redshaw, J., Kennedy-Costantini, S., Davis, J., et al. (2016). Comprehensive longitudinal study challenges the existence of neonatal imitation in humans. Current Biology, 26(10), 1334–1338.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Pereira, A., & van Prooijen, J. W. (2018). Why we sometimes punish the innocent: The role of group entitativity in collective punishment. PLoS ONE, 13(5), e0196852. Scholar
  36. Pickering, M. J., & Garrod, S. (2004). The interactive-alignment model: Developments and refinements. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 27, 212–225.Google Scholar
  37. Reitter, D. (2017). Alignment in web-based dialogue: Who aligns, and how automatic is it? Studies in big-data computational psycholinguistics. In M. N. Jones (Ed.), Big data in cognitive science (pp. 246–269). London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  38. Riordan, M. A., Dale, R., Kreuz, R. J., & Olney, A. (2011). Evidence for alignment in a computer-mediated text-only environment. In L. Carlson, C. Hoelscher, & T. F. Shipley (Eds.), Proceedings of the 33rd annual conference of the cognitive science society (pp. 2411–2416). Austin, TX: Cognitive Science Society.Google Scholar
  39. Rutchick, A. M., Hamilton, D. L., & Sack, J. D. (2008). Antecedents of entitativity in categorically and dynamically construed groups. European Journal of Social Psychology, 38(6), 905–921.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Steiner, P. M., Atzmüller, C., & Su, D. (2016). Designing valid and reliable vignette experiments for survey research: A case study on the fair gender income gap. Journal of Methods and Measurement in the Social Sciences, 7(2), 52–94.Google Scholar
  41. Thurston, J. A. (2012). Exploring group perception: The relationship between perception of entitativity and assessements of cohesion. Doctoral dissertation. Retreived from ProQuest (Accession No. 3553785).Google Scholar
  42. Tollefsen, D., & Dale, R. (2012). Naturalizing joint action: A process-based approach. Philosophical Psychology, 25, 385–407.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Tomasello, M. (1998). Uniquely primate, uniquely human. Developmental Science, 1, 1–16.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyUniversity of MemphisMemphisUSA
  2. 2.Department of CommunicationUniversity of California, Los AngelesLos AngelesUSA
  3. 3.Department of PsychologyUniversity of MemphisMemphisUSA

Personalised recommendations